Sunday, April 18, 2021

Floods kill dozens in East Timor and Indonesia – ZAP

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António Sampaio / Lusa

The floods in Timor-Leste have already caused at least 21 deaths, most of them in the capital. In turn, in Indonesia, 55 people have already been killed.

The balance of the floods that devastated Timor-Leste increased from 11 to 21 the death toll, 13 of which in Dili and the rest in other municipalities, a source from Civil Protection told Lusa. The 13 fatalities in Dili include at least six children and a policeman, he added.

The same source said that more detailed information about other areas of the country is beginning to arrive, indicating that five people died in a landslide in the Turiscai region (municipality of Manufahi). At least three people were killed in Ainaru, according to Civil Protection information.

This balance of fatalities it is still provisional, since several people are reported missing.

Currently, in the capital, there are already 11 places that are hosting thousands of people who lost their homes or who were displaced due to flooding. In addition to the official support that is being coordinated by the authorities, citizens and companies in Dili have been mobilizing since Sunday to reach out to those most affected.

“Whoever wants to support with goods and donations, we ask that they centralize their delivery at the Civil Protection facilities in Caicoli”, underlined that entity.

In a preliminary report by the Secretary of State for Civil Protection to which Lusa had access, it was stated that they were significantly affected more than two thousand families, with the survey and assessment of emergency needs still taking place in various locations.

In the municipality of Viqueque, Civil Protection has already identified at least 420 families affected by bad weather, to whom first emergency support is being channeled. In Covalina there are preliminary records of damage affecting 45 families in the village of Halik, suco Beco, with the assessment being hampered by the fall of a bridge.

In the municipality of Baucau, bad weather affected several families in various sucos in the region, and further damage investigations are still ongoing. In Manufahi, in addition to the fatalities, at least four families are affected and in Bobonaru there are two families in need of humanitarian support.

After a night without rain, the population of Dili is this Monday in an initial process of cleaning and aftermath, with several areas of the city still without electricity. Civil Protection and Government teams are on the ground to initiate urgent interventions in support of families and repair of damage to infrastructures.

The garbage accumulated in the bed of the rivers and on the banks is still causing significant risks in several places, including, for example, in the river near the Portuguese School of Dili.

It is recalled that on March 13, 2020, torrential rains in the capital caused the rupture of this stream, flooding and causing significant damage to the school.

The accumulation of garbage and debris on the stream, making it difficult for water to pass, can now, in the event of more rain, cause additional problems in the zone.

This Monday also, an airport source in Dili confirmed to Lusa that, despite the flooding of the passenger terminal, the runway is operational and, therefore, prepared to host a flight from Singapore with the first 24,000 doses of the vaccine against the covid-19. The flight, chartered by UNICEF is expected in the capital at 1:00 pm (5:00 am in Lisbon), with the vaccination program scheduled to kick off on Wednesday.

At least 55 killed in Indonesia floods

At least 55 people died and dozens remain missing due to the floods in Indonesia, according to a new assessment made this Monday by the local authorities. The previous balance pointed to 44 dead.

“There are 55 dead, but the death toll continues to rise, with 42 people still missing,” Raditya Jati, spokesman for Indonesia’s disaster management agency, told reporters.

The sudden floods caused by torrential rains caused significant damage on the island of Flores, leading thousands of people to seek shelter.

Landslides and flash floods are common in the Indonesian archipelago, especially during the rainy season. But environmental activists point to deforestation as an important factor in these catastrophes.

In January, 40 Indonesians died in the floods that hit the city of Sumedang in West Java.

The Indonesian disaster management agency estimated that 125 million people, about half of the archipelago’s population, live in areas at risk of landslides.

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